Special persons: Our responsibilities

A number of functions were arranged at federal and provincial level on Saturday to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities highlighting the problems faced by these special persons and also suggesting solutions to integrate them into the mainstream. In our view on this day we also need to do some soul searching as to what has so far been done for special persons and what more needs to be done to make them productive and dignified citizen.
If we take a look at our own country, we have no doubt in saying that situation has not improved much for persons living with some sort of disability whose tally according to a 2010 survey stands at 2.27m. Unless one is born in a well off family, the handicapped people mostly face exclusion and isolation and seen as a commodity having no worth- something that should be an embarrassment for us as being an Islamic country our posture towards them should be that of kindness and care. And the way of taking care of these special people is to teach them to live their lives as normally as possible, rather than patronising them by giving alms. They need to be supported in such a way that they could stand on their own feet. First responsibility in this regard lies with the family and the society to motivate and encourage such people rather than isolating them. Then, comes the role of government to open such avenues for these people where they can pursue their goals without any impediment. Announcing special quota for them in government jobs was appreciable step but it is lamentable that it is not being implemented in letter and in spirit anywhere. Besides ensuring this quota, we will urge the government to launch special market oriented technical training programmes for disabled so that they could earn their own livelihoods and live a dignified life like any other person of the society.

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